Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Vacations without Your Kids

Our children's dependance on us is both proper and something that needs to be managed. It’s a wonderful thing that our children rely on us for their basic needs, for guidance, and for instruction. At the same time, this 24 hour job we call parenting is incredibly exhausting. What parent doesn't enjoy the peace and quiet that only the post-bedtime hours can bring? If we're not careful, the exhaustion of raising children can adversely impact the most important relationship in our lives: our marriage.

One of the best ways to steal some downtime in order to strengthen your marriage is by taking small trips. Vacationing with your kids is lots of fun, yet it's also important for you to take trips alone with your wife. After all, while your relationship with your children is important, the core relationship upon which your family is built is your martial relationship. Alison and I took a three day work related trip earlier this summer and we left Benedict with my parents. We missed him terribly, but it was good for us all the same.

Your marriage needs constant attention and maintenance. Marriages don't fail overnight; it's through years of neglect that they suffer catastrophic failures. Just as a regular date night is important, so too are these mini-vacations; they're a time to focus on one another. It doesn't even need to be an expensive or exhaustive trip, either. A quick tune-up in the form of a simple night or weekend away is all that's required.

A question may be rising in the back of your mind: how often should we have these marriage trips? There’s no clear answer, but certainly more infrequently than your family vacations. Your marriage is sustained and nurtured through your daily lives. The intimacy that you share as you both experience the safety of sharing your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and desires is one way your marriage is nurtured. It’s also sustained through kind words and acts of service. Additionally, your marriage is sustained through your shared parenting, raising the children that you lovingly brought into this world. A parents-only vacation is simply another outlet for you both to continue to grow your marriage.

I encourage you and your wife to find some time before the end of the year, if at all possible, to have a parents-only vacation. Your marriage deserves it and, above all, your children deserve to be raised in a home grounded in a strong marital bond.